What have you done without the use of worship aids/hymnals/missalettes?
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 118
    I've been wondering about this for some time. Since COVID-19 hit, my diocese has prohibited the use of worship aids, hymnals, and missalettes - basically, any reusable materials are prohibited for fear of spreading the virus.

    This has put a hamper on many parish's music programs that used these resources heavily prior to COVID-19. How have you adapted if your parish has used these? Do you use single-use worship aids? Do you put the music for the weekend's Mass in the bulletin so that the parishioners can just take it with them when they leave? Have you changed the way the congregation sings - maybe by implementing antiphonal singing where the congregation sings a refrain, and a cantor sings the verses? Do you make use of a digital worship aid where parishioners can download the worship aid and follow along on their mobile devices? Do you do everything normally, and invite parishioners to sing if they know the words?

    Some people have told me that a digital worship aid isn't the way to go because it requires the parishioners to use a mobile device, which can be distracting. I "get" the argument there, but I don't know it I'm particularly swayed by it. Many people have been using mobile devices during the Mass already, mostly to follow along with the readings.

    What has worked for you, and/or what have you seen that has worked?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 670
    My parish has large projection screens. We use those to project music. The church is circular, so the screens are off to the side and don't compete with the sanctuary.

    I was ambivalent about screens, but they have been very useful over the past twelve months. I can display up to four staff lines of modern or chant musical notation and lyrics on each slide at a size that's comfortable for people to read from the opposite end of the church. A volunteer advances the slides during songs.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,356
    Locally, programs are being included in weekly bulletins, including readings.
  • davido
    Posts: 503
    Single use worship aids, booklet format, 8.5x11 paper. I print readings, hymns, service music, creed, antiphons and st Michael prayer.
  • Funny, I got on here to start a similar thread...

    We had been making these lousy, one sheet, single-use worship aids: Hymn texts (no melodies) and Gregorian antiphon texts on the front and Credo III on the back. Since we weren't printing the hymn melodies in these worship aids, I had to force myself to use a limited number of familiar hymn tunes again and again. My cantors and I have been sick of it since November.

    BUT: I just found out today that we're putting hymnals and missalettes back in the pew beginning Palm Sunday! No more making worship aids!
    Thanked by 3CCooze tandrews tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,692
    Little_Durufle - a limited number of familiar hymn tunes - any idea how the PIPs felt about that?
  • @a_f_hawkins I'm painting a broad stroke; I don't mean playing "Hyfrydol" and "Hymn to Joy" every three weeks, but being limited to a certain core of hymnody that my parish has sung for years and wouldn't need the melody to sing. My boss wanted it that way. There are less- and not-very-familiar hymns I want to use, but we avoided them due to the lack of hymnals up to now.

    As for your question, no one complained to me or my boss at all in these last nine months, so...
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,791
    We're not allowed hymnals, missalettes, or worship aids; and the people aren't supposed to sing anything...Yet we're REQUIRED to have the Annual Catholic Appeal envelopes and pens in every pew. I will let you divine what ye will from that.

    I've simply been doing the Propers plus familiar chant ordinaries: the people sing quietly along with those. Unfortunately, those who were once the most robust congregational singers are now the most vocally (no pun intended) anti-singing.
  • CharlesSA
    Posts: 143
    The 3 churches I attend the most all have hymnals available for use. I think 2 of the 3 at one point did not have them but have had them back for a while. The one that always had them was an FSSP parish. Of the other 2, the SSPX chapel didn't have them out when things opened back up last spring, but had them back sometime in the fall; the diocesan parish got them back more recently - I think shortly after Christmas.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 340
    We’ve had comprehensive, proper weekly bulletins. Everything is in there – readings, hymns, prayers, Eucharistic Prayer, everything. Congregational singing is forbidden by our diocese; all music is sung by the quartet, masked and distanced by 12’. However, notation for what was once considered “congregational” music (ordinary, hymns, etc.) is included, along with the rubric “sung by the choir.” That way, the (reduced) number in the pews are reminded that the choir is singing the hymns on their behalf, and they ought not to sing, while the people watching at home who have downloaded the bulletin have what they need to sing along to their hearts’ content.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 926
    I've been making 11x17 trifold single-use worship aids for the last few months since singing was permitted for the congregation again.

    Last week we received word that we could introduce missalets and hymnals again, but we are going to keep the latter hidden away as we are interested in severely restricting hymnody to orthodox texts and to having the propers feature more prominently as a permanent fixture. I anticipate really only using hymns after the communion antiphon has been sung and occasionally "entrance antiphon hymns" since the text is as close to 1:1 as you can get with the proper. The cantors & choir have been singing all the propers the last year, and in the last month or so I've introduced them to the congregation formally in the worship aids.

    Palm Sunday (attached) breaks the mold a bit, but as of late people have begun singing along with the verses (and a few brave souls the antiphons). We're using Bartlet's Simple English. I play the psalm tone for the verses on the organ and then begin chanting the antiphon.

    The fact that members of the congregation have begun singing along (including alternating between men and women at communion, following the lead of the choir) is proof positive that a parish will chant, given enough encouragement and the opportunity.
  • Carol
    Posts: 688
    Congregational singing is highly discouraged here due to covid, so there are no missalettes. At my mother's funeral a few weeks ago, we all sang in the pews with our masks on. Most of us are cantors for Mass so we know the hymns by heart. It probably freaked Father out, but my mother sang at our father's funeral so we were surely going to sing for her.
  • tandrews
    Posts: 103
    We've been using single sheet worship aids since Pentecost. We started with Richard Rice's Gradual and Kathy Pluth's introit hymns, gradually moving to a "hymn of the day" at offertory over the summer. A communion hymn was also used regardless of communion's placement (it had been at the conclusion of Mass until Laetare Sunday), and usually just printing the refrain and leaving the verses to the cantor. Processions also came back at that time, and I am simply running out of space for all the music!

    Misalettes are coming back this weekend (just in time for the great "prohecy/prophesy debacle" that is the dramatic passion readings lol). The pastor would love to keep the introit hymns going, but we haven't figured out how to do that quite yet without printing semi-permanent pew cards for people to sing from.

    The communion antiphon has always been sung, though.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 979
    If the lectors speak clearly and annunciate properly, no one needs a missalette. We should be watching father at the Eucharistic Prayer, not following along in a book. Everyone knows the 'Our Father'. A pew card with the propers should be all that's needed.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    I dislike missalettes, and I am ambivalent about using handmissals at Mass, but for the Sunday Mass with three readings, all of those Hebrew names are going to get butchered far more often that should be the case, and it seems that having the text would also help you situate yourself back in the story.
  • Carol
    Posts: 688
    Many parishes are served by priests with heavy foreign accents and having the text in front of you is helpful.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,768
    During the time we were forbidden to put the Campion missal out, we just relied on people bringing their own. And they weren't supposed to sing, so we didn't do hymns; the organist just played the sacred ministers on and off (only thing we use English hymns for). I stopped using Credo III because people could sing that by heart, and did.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 979
    I'm sorry, I just realized I meant a pew card with the ordinaries, not the propers.
  • Caleferink
    Posts: 358
    I've been forbidden from having hymnals in the pews since reopening last Pentecost (end of May 2020). I was also forbidden from reprinting anything in the bulletin, the pastor citing a lack of space - although a ton of it is "fluff" articles from the publishers and the control-freak parish secretary refused to reformat the bulletin at all. I was also prohibited from producing weekly worship aids, citing cost-control, although I did for Christmas and will do so for Holy Week as I usually do. So we've mostly been doing the following:
    -Congregation sings Mass ordinaries, which they can do from memory. If they want to follow along with the readings, they have to bring their own materials.
    -Proper Introit sung by cantor during entrance procession
    -Responsorial Psalm in the usual way (some parishes are having the cantor sing the Psalm straight through w/o a response)
    -Proper Offertory followed by organ improv or, during Lent, silence
    -Proper Communion followed either by a solo by the cantor or else some familiar hymn. People want to sing and/or hear familiar hymns and complain when I don't do them. I just tell them that my hands are tied and I'm doing the best I can with the restrictions I'm under.
    -Organ only or, again during Lent, silence for the retiring procession

    ...yet we're REQUIRED to have the Annual Catholic Appeal envelopes and pens in every pew. I will let you divine what ye will from that.

    My pastor has kept the collection envelopes for those who left their envelopes at home or for visitors in the pews this whole time. And honestly it ticks me off - if we can have the envelopes, which are probably handled more often than the hymnals, why can't the hymnals be in there? Also, the pastor wanted to put the booklets we use for the Passion readings out for the congregation to be able to say "their lines" (another thread) until I, in one of my less-proud moments, snapped back with my hymnal argument; fortunately, others backed me up on this. But really, consistency? Either we have things in the pews or we don't. At least the pastor didn't put our annual appeal envelopes out - the diocese mailed them to homes this year.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 926
    I've long failed to see how there is any risk whatsoever posed by single-use worship aids, and yet even those weren't permitted for a while. It makes absolutely no sense. (Then again, this is true for almost all of what's been happening...) Fortunately we've been permitted to have worship aids (as long as they are single use) for quite some time.

    We've controlled entrance to church through a single portal so that congregants can be directed to ushers to intelligently pack the pews to fit as many people as possible whilst still maintaining a modicum of social distancing. Since they all come in a single door, I place a podium with a white basket on top at that entrance to the nave so people can grab a worship aid as they come in. We then have a second set of special grey bins at each exit with large signs printed in red which tell people to recycle their used worship aids in them as they leave. Now that the parish has acquired this new habit, it's working out very well. I don't have to touch any of the used worship aids (I'm not worried anyway, tbh); I simply go around to each of the doors after the weekend is over and dump each basket into a recycle bin and we're done.

    I am particularly blessed, however, as far as worship aid creation is concerned. I enjoy the graphic design element of making them (I'm a nerd for both type-setting text and music engraving, so this is right up my alley) and I'm blessed to have a copy machine for my exclusive use in my office, and I inherited a paper folding machine from a previous job which is now my personal property. Consequently, I've got it about as good as it gets as far as processing and creating worship aids is concerned. It's one of my favorite parts of my job. I make them, print them, fold them, etc. at the beginning of every week. We have parishioners who own a print shop and they will do special projects for us, like when we created laminated pew cards of the ordinary (currently not in use). They also supply us nice & thick 11x17 paper for the worship aids essentially at cost.
    Thanked by 1MatthewRoth
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 508
    Actually, my parish just started using worship aid for our live streaming mass. They're not distributed at Mass. The bulletins are put out at Mass and distributed by the ushers.
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 118
    ServiamScores,

    I am perplexed by the controlled entrance and exit of my parish - one way in and a separate one way out. What sense does it make to have the entire cathedral exit through the same door? We all crowd around each other as we leave. Wouldn’t it make more sense just to open all entrances/exits?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,692
    For us Archbishop's instructions! Communion distributed after Mass, leave church directly, by separate exit. The neighbouring parish live-streams, they kept it up for weeks, we don't, and dropped it after a few days.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 926
    z09- I totally agree.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    #1. Seasonal Missalettes are available at the entrance WITH instructions to NOT return them - to take them home - AND to return to subsequent Masses with your now personalized copy. If you do NOT plan to take a copy home, do NOT take one and then dump it in the bin after one use! Notices have run in the bulletin (in print and online) to this effect, so that our supply does not run out at the end of the season.

    #2. Parish printed worship aids are dumped in the bins after Mass, unless someone wants to take them home. Bulletins are handed out AFTER Mass. N.B. ALL music to be sung is contained in our worship aids. Music from the Missalette in NEVER used in our parish.

    #3. Organist and Cantor in the loft or back part of the parish hall, maintaining some sort of distancing. (PFFT!!!) Masks are not required while singing/playing. Only alternating pews are available for seating, and only families or folks who enter together are allowed to fill one pew. CCTV to the parish hall and streaming online options available.

    N.B. With those who insist on masks, and with physical distancing in place, we see no reason to demand that no one sing. The WHO and the CDC are simply full of it! ("it" being their own inflated importance and power! What did you think I meant?)
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    I am perplexed by the controlled entrance and exit of my parish - one way in and a separate one way out. What sense does it make to have the entire cathedral exit through the same door? We all crowd around each other as we leave. Wouldn’t it make more sense just to open all entrances/exits?


    In theory, it prevents people from crossing paths.

    Some of these restrictions are annoying insofar as we have known for a long time that contaminated surfaces are not the way that the virus primarily spreads — far from it, in fact — and while I can sort of understand restrictions on singing, nevertheless, I hold that such is abhorrent and must only come from the church. The civil authorities have no power to dictate what may or may not as far as the actual celebration of Mass goes, though I could see them having a say in one-way aisles and exits and in attempting to require some form of separation or even masks, but ultimately the church must agree to those. In any case, the solutions put in place strike me as very high-church Protestant in the worst ways, even if there was no real choice for many people here.